Daily Briefing: THE ‘ABRAHAM ACCORD’: A GAME CHANGER FOR THE PALESTINIANS? (September 1, 2020)

 

Mahmoud Abbas in May 2018 (Wikipedia)

Table Of Contents:

UAE: We Are Not Traitors; Palestinian Leaders are Corrupt:  Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 1, 2020


The Arab World is Fed Up with the Palestinians:  Ben-Dor Yemini, Ynet, Aug. 18, 2020

The Unintended Lessons of the UAE-Israel Deal:  Jerry Sorkin, The Arab Weekly, Aug. 24, 2020

Palestine Lost: It’s up to the Palestinian People to Shape their Future Now:  R. David Harden, The Hill, Aug. 20, 2020

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UAE: We Are Not Traitors; Palestinian Leaders Are Corrupt
Khaled Abu Toameh
Gatestone Institute, Sept. 1, 2020As Palestinian leaders continue to condemn the United Arab Emirates for its agreement to normalize relations with Israel, Emiratis have responded by dismissing charges that the UAE betrayed the Arabs and Muslims, as well as Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem and the Palestinian issue.The main message the Emiratis and other Gulf citizens are sending to the Palestinians and the rest of the Arabs and Muslims is something to the effect of: “We did not betray anyone. We have a wise leader who has decided to do what is good for his country, the Palestinians and all Arabs and Muslims. You Palestinians need to get rid of your corrupt leaders.”The Emiratis are also defending their leader’s decision to sign the normalization agreement with Israel by reminding everyone that the UAE is not the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel. The Emiratis say they cannot understand why they are being harshly criticized by many Arabs and Muslims who have done almost nothing to assist the Palestinians.“The UAE is not the first Arab country to conclude a peace agreement with Israel, and it will definitely not be the last,” wrote Emirati journalist Sami Al-Reyami.
“Many [Arabs] opened their doors to Israel and cooperated with it without achieving any real benefit for the Palestinian cause. It is very strange for the UAE to be subjected to criticism from governments and the media of countries that preceded it by decades in establishing and relations with Israel.”

Al-Reyami explained that when the Emiratis decided to establish relations with Israel, it did not do it out of the blue: “Instead, the UAE did it after it received several requests from Arab, Islamic and other countries asking it to intervene to solve the problem and dilemma of Israel’s determination to annex lands in the West Bank. The Arabs, the European Union members and many countries were unable to stop the [Israeli] plan until the UAE intervened and did what the world did not do, and was able to make a difference and stop plans to annex Arab lands. So why are these short-sighted people now annoyed?”

Al-Reyami believes that the real problem the Palestinians and other critics have is not with the agreement itself. “Instead, the problem is in their hearts that are full of hatred for every step taken by the Emirates,” he said. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
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The Arab World is Fed Up with the Palestinians
Ben-Dor Yemini
Ynet, Aug. 18, 2020

The biggest surprise following Israel’s peace accord with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is that there was no division within the Arab world about it.
In fact, almost all Arab countries have expressed their support for the agreement and hopped on the peace train.

We are left only with Yemen and Qatar who oppose the agreement and they have joined Iran and Turkey’s axis of evil. The axis of Islamic radicalism, both Sunni and Shi’ite.

So what actually happened? Well, the Arab world is fed up. It looks to the left and the right and realizes, albeit belatedly, that wherever Islamic radicalism is involved – whether Shi’ite or Sunni – the result is always destruction and ruin.

Iran, Turkey and their jihadist affiliates are involved in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, northern Sinai, and northern Nigeria. Wherever they go, chaos follows.

The UAE or Saudi Arabia definitely did not become democracies all of a sudden, but in the Middle East, the choice is not between liberal democracy or a dictatorship. The choice is between stability or destruction.

And how are the Palestinians doing? The violence that former PLO leader Yasser Arafat instigated has been defeated. It only made the Palestinians’ problems worse. Arafat’s heir, Mahmoud Abbas, opposes violence and he still failed.

The Arab world refuses to continue entertaining every Palestinian whim. Following the near-unanimous Arab support for normalization, the Palestinian failure becomes all the more painful.

Why did the Palestinians lose the Arab world? At some point starting in the late 1990s, Arab leaders realized that the “Palestinian problem” was not an asset, but a burden.

After all, being hostile to Israel never benefited anyone. That is why prominent Arab states supported former U.S. president Bill Clinton’s peace outline in the 90s. They even tried to pressure Arafat to accept the agreement, but to no avail.

Although Abbas stopped the violence, he stuck to Arafat’s diplomatic policy of always saying “no,” regardless of what was on offer. It was “no” to the 1937 Peel Commission, “no” to the 1947 UN partition plan, “no” to Israeli withdrawal for peace in 1967, “no” to then-prime minister Ehud Barak’s peace offer in 2000, “no” to Clinton’s peace offer later that year, “no” to then-prime minister Ehud Olmert’s peace offer in 2008, “no” to then-U.S. president Barack Obama’s peace offer in 2014 – and of course “no” to U.S. President Donald Trump’s peace plan. They never wanted a state for the Palestinian people, they just didn’t want one for the Jews. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
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The Unintended Lessons of the UAE-Israel Deal
Jerry Sorkin
The Arab Weekly, Aug. 24, 2020

US President Donald Trump seems eager to surprise Americans and the world with new announcements on a near-daily basis — from his suggestion that Americans consider injecting disinfectant into the bodies of COVID-19 patients, to making unsubstantiated claims that the US mail system is not reliable and that November’s election should be postponed.

But his surprise announcement on August 13 that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel had agreed to open full diplomatic relations was certainly not fake news. It was an announcement that captured a lot of attention…. both welcome and not.

It is not a secret that Israel has maintained quiet relations with the UAE as well as with other Arab Gulf countries. But the announcement that the two countries are establishing full diplomatic relations put the UAE in a small club that includes only two other Arab nations: Egypt and Jordan.

The UAE and Israel will expand cooperation in many areas, from technology to security and tourism. Angered by the move, Palestinian authorities called the announcement a “stab in the back.” But people in the street in the West Bank want nothing more than to see normal life and to end the predicament of having their territory surrounded by walls and security checkpoints.

A few weekends ago, there was a rare phenomenon of West Bankers going to the beach, passing through tanks to an unexplained lapse in Israel security, which allowed literally thousands of Palestinians to take advantage of this rare opportunity.

For the younger generation, this was in most cases the first glimpse of the seaside, despite their living less than an hour’s drive from the West Bank. Reports were that the Israelis simply stood by and allowed the Palestinians to enjoy their rare day at Israeli beaches. There is not a Palestinian who would not want to do this again, reported the New York Times

Two years ago, I took part in a group forum at a West Bank Palestinian university aimed at enabling American visitors to hear from the “20-something” generation of Palestinians, a generation that has only known occupation. After numerous students spoke and the Q&A session started, a Palestinian professor chairing the event seemed to jump on every question posed to the students and give her own answers instead. It was clear that the students were frustrated, particularly when a question was posed to them asking if they or their professors would be willing to work with Israeli academics who wanted to work and collaborate with Palestinian students and professors. Rather than letting the students answer, the Palestinian professor immediately responded that they would never collaborate with Israeli professors or students, as it would be traitorous “to work with the colonists.”

After the session, we invited some of the students to join us at a small restaurant/cafe in Bir Zeit village, providing them with a less intimidating atmosphere to speak candidly. They felt their professor prevented them from saying what they would have liked to say, which was that they would very much want to meet and have exchanges with their Israeli counterparts. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
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Palestine Lost: It’s Up to the Palestinian People to Shape their Future Now
R. David Harden
The Hill, Aug. 20, 2020

The agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel to normalize relations is essential for future regional peace and stability. Not only will these two countries benefit, but regional stability translates to global security.

Just this week, as an example, a Sudanese Foreign Ministry official announced that his government is “looking forward to concluding a peace agreement with Israel.” In these diplomatic breakthroughs, the Palestinians have lost.

Now is the time for the Palestinians to assess their strategic next steps. Their future will not look like the past — or at least it should not. The Palestinian Liberation Organization, Fatah, Hamas, the Palestinian National Authority — the entire enterprise — will need a hard reset if its leaders ever hope to realize the aspirations of its people. Palestine’s next generation, not the old guard, know these tough realities.

Israel is a dynamic, increasingly strong regional power that will continue to shape the Middle East. The United Arab Emirates rapprochement is just the beginning. Bahrain, Oman, and eventually Saudi Arabia will normalize their diplomatic relations with Israel.

These countries understand that a Gulf realignment will spur robust economic relations. Israeli-Gulf trade will obviously include advanced military and cyber technology but also breakthroughs in water, energy, agriculture, and health care, putting into motion a positive feedback loop that will drive diversified capital and economic growth for a region too dependent on atrophying oil money.

The first Gulf state adopters will benefit economically more than those Gulf states who hesitate. The Palestinians could find that Israel has broad political, economic, and even social support with much of the Middle East in the next few years.

Despite Netanyahu’s suspended annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem as a concession to the United Arab Emirates, Israel will continue to expand its settlements. There is little doubt that Israeli growth rates in the major settlement blocs and beyond will track similarly in the years ahead as it has for the last five decades. To protect these settlements, Israel Defense Forces will continue occupation in the West Bank, with or without Palestinian security cooperation. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
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For Further Reference:

Arab Countries Aren’t Waiting for the Palestinians: Yossi Beilin, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 28, 2020A few days ago, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the mufti of the Palestinian Authority and Jerusalem, published a fatwa (religious ruling) stating that Muslims in the United Arab Emirates were forbidden to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Collapse of the PA could Provide ‘Brighter Future’ for Palestinians: Ariel Ben Solomon, JNS, Aug. 31, 2020 Despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s release of the “Peace to Prosperity” Mideast plan earlier this year to help resolved issues associated with the decades-long conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, it remains clear that no negotiations between the two parties are on the horizon amid a Palestinian boycott of the Trump administration.

The PA Is the One Building in Judea and Samari:  Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom, Sept. 1, 2020– While the normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is real cause for joy, and the historic missed opportunity to apply sovereignty in Judea and Samaria is a serious disappointment, what is taking place on the ground on Netanyahu’s watch when it comes to promoting and preserving the settlements, is mostly a source of deep sadness. In truth, it’s nothing less than a scandal.

Hamas Announces Ceasefire Understandings with Israel: Khaled Abu Toameh, Anna Ahronheim, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 31, 2020Hamas has reached new understandings with Israel to de-escalate the situation in the Gaza Strip, it announced Monday night.

Suicidal Ideation and Planning Among Palestinian Middle School Students Living in Gaza Strip, West Bank, and United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Camps:  International Journal of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Volume 4, Issue 2, June 2017, Pages 54-60 – The goal of this study was to identify the prevalence and correlates of suicidal thinking among Palestinian middle school students by using complex samples analysis to explore data about suicidal ideation and suicidal planning in the past year from 14,303 students in grades 7, 8, and 9 (roughly ages 13–15 years) who participated in the Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS) in 2010 in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) refugee camps.